Vendor Events: How to Set Yourself Apart in the Crowd
Is there anything more frustrating than investing in a vendor event and not standing out from the crowd, resulting in endless hours or little or no traffic coming to your booth?
Having passer-byers glance over or shy away in fear of being pounced on? We’ve all experienced the overly aggressive direct seller in a booth or the gadget people that have the PA system shouting their product pitch so loudly they can hear it two states over.
Vendor events can be one of the most lucrative prospecting opportunities for new business resulting in tons of bookings, business leads and occasionally sales, if you set yourself apart in the crowd.
#1 Your Booth
First let’s talk about your booth.
It should be warm, inviting, decorated for the season or theme of the event.
Use adequate signage, varied heights and well lit.
Do not clutter it with too much product.
Set up a starter kit, your host exclusive items, customer bonus buys, monthly specials all in one grouping so you can easily show a prospect what products are included in the kit, the most popular host exclusives and the monthly specials to encourage bookings.
Another display should consist of what a host receives with an average $1000 party.
Lastly the third part of your display set up in a “U” shape can have some cash and carry items and your gift for your drawing giveaway used to gather the prospect’s contact information.
#2 Your Approach
When you have someone come into your booth, or approach it, you have less than 30 seconds to make a first impression and get them engaged. Do not be aggressive, but ask curious questions to engage them in conversation. It could be:
“Have you heard of (name of your company)?”
“What caught your eye?”
“What do you like best about
“Wouldn’t you like to experience ____________________? Come take a look.”
“How can I serve you and your (name of company’s) needs?”
As a business woman, I always want to get the greatest return on my investment and that is to use your vendor events for lead generation.
I get that at the end of the day you may want to capture a sale or two but what I have found that happens more times than not, if you are offering to sell, the focus gets turned there and you lose out on what is most important.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to waste those precious few seconds on trying to make a sale. The commission of a single item is always going to be less than the income from a party that is booked and held.
I can almost hear some of you saying back to me, “But what if they aren’t going to book a show? What then?” Still focus on lead generation.
#3 Your Service
Do you know that studies have been done and that most sales happen after the 5th exposure?
I have seen this time and time again work for bookings too.
If we focus on the immediately sale, and do not capture their contact information, we have no way of staying connected to continue to serve them with excellence. AND I have no way to get the booking or even sales in the future.
If you want to serve your customers well then use your vendor events for lead generation.
Don’t be shy to ask or incentivize for the booking with a date during the event… right there on the spot. The more time you allow to come in between them standing in your booth and a phone conversation that may or may not happen, the greater the chance of losing the booking. Also, be sure to follow up immediately. Everyone else is waiting to follow up with them as well. Do it within 12-24 hours… no exceptions.
A favorite tip of mine is to give them an invite to a follow up event/ party to check out what you do a little more that includes door prizes, giveaways, and more. Hold this event in a similar location to your vendor event and encourage them to bring a couple of friends with them.
#4 Proof in the Pudding
I have to brag on my client and friend, Cari Wandrey with Life Expressions Décor. I got this private message from her not long ago with 4 days still left in her vendor event at the State Fair, about halfway through her event. This is what she had to say…
“I just wanted to celebrate with you a little bit today. The fair still has 4 days to go – we are a little over the halfway mark. We have 50 – yes 50 – bookings so far and we are not done yet. When I say bookings I mean people who have selected a date, gave us their information and are excited about hosting the party. YAY! I also have 6 recruit leads. Thanks again for all your help.”
50 bookings from doing what she learned in my digital training – Extraordinary Success to Vendor Events and being involved in coaching with me.
Congratulations, Cari!! I am super excited for you!!
LINDA HAMILTON goes on to say…
“HER INFORMATION WORKS..She gives you a Step by Step road map on how to implement the plan to succeed. I started with the Vendor program and followed it from start to finish. She explains everything so well. The scripts and The drawing slips are amazing. They made the follow up calls so easy to do.”